We’re constantly in the process of encouraging people to serve our global neighbors by caring for the environment. We’ll be honest, however. Sometimes it can be difficult to see where to get started. There are so many possible choices, but how do you get started? Perhaps you’ve gone from never considering the importance of the environment to wanting to make it more of a priority. Here are a few things to note right at the starting block.
We don’t always recognize the urgency
There is a large portion of people who recognize that environmental crises pose a significant threat, but who have not made any adjustments to their lifestyles or habits in response.
While many environmental concerns are widely known, not everybody has recognized the urgency of these issues in the present moment. The world is currently seeing one of the highest rates of species extinction that it has faced in a long time. Each year, the planet loses enough forest cover to cover the entire country of Panama.
One of the most important choices that a person can make is to no longer put off addressing the planet’s urgent concerns.
We forget what we have the ability to do
One other reason many people struggle with taking action is because the threats that the planet faces seem so large. Our actions, in comparison, might not seem sufficient.
Sometimes, it can also get easy to start deflecting the responsibility of caring for the environment on to someone else. There are endless debates that get started over whether the responsibility of managing activities that impact the environment should fall on governments, businesses, individuals, or other sectors. When different political ideologies or philosophies enter these discussions, sometimes they can turn into stalemates.
On the other hand, imagine what it would be like if every single actor simply asked what they could do to make things better, and then went out and did those things? We’d have greater cooperation, more creative solutions, and productive actions.
While it can be difficult to manage the actions of others, we shouldn’t overlook what we have the ability to do. At a price point of $1 per tree, many of us can afford to plant a small forest in a developing community that would undoubtedly impact its quality of life.
We make unsustainable commitments
Sometimes efforts to better care for the environment fall apart, not because people have tried to do too little, but because they’ve tried to do too much.
There are hundreds of actions you could take to practice better environmental stewardship. Trying to take them all on at the same time, however, is likely to not last very long. Making one solid commitment at a time is a more effective way at achieving an overall more sustainable lifestyle.
Adjusting to a new way of living takes grace. Environmental legalism does more damage in the long run overall. This refers to policing the behavior of yourself and others in a way that uses guilt and shame. Grace is the key to every life transformation.
Want to help rural communities become the solution to their environmental problems? Learn more about becoming a Purpose Partner here.